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02 September 2019

Department of Interior e-Bike Policy

There’s been a lot of news swirling on internet forums and cycling websites on the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) recent e-bike policy announcement. To squash all rumors and misconceptions, Shimano wanted to review what the new policy is and what it means for e-mountain bikes in the United States on DOI managed lands.

On Friday, August 30th, the DOI released an order signed by the Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, with the subject line “Increasing Recreational Opportunities through the use of Electric Bikes”. Secretary’s order 3376 lists out each of the major land management agencies under DOI jurisdiction and how they must create a clear and consistent policy to identify, and expand, access to e-bikes. 

To be clear, there are four main bureaus that the DOI manages. They consist of the following: 1) The National Park Service; 2) the Bureau of Land Management; 3) the Fish and Wildlife Service; and 4) the Bureau of Reclamation. Secretary Bernhardt’s order only applies to these four land management agencies. 

In Section 5 of the order, Implementation, the Secretary of the Interior calls for the following from each Assistant Secretaries from all DOI managed bureaus to do the following:

By September 12, each agency must develop a new interim e-bike policy for that agency.

By September 12, each agency must begin the process of developing a new proposed rule, subject to public notice and comment, to make more permanent changes to its regulations that govern e-bike use. Note that each agency is not required to release its proposed rule for public comment by this date. 

By September 28, each agency must report back to the Secretary of the Interior with respect to any policy changes it has implemented, any laws or regulations that have limited its ability to make policy changes, and a timeline for receiving public comments on the agency’s proposed rules.  

By September 28, each agency must provide public guidance regarding the use of e-bikes on the lands managed by each agency. 

Simply put, each of the major land management agencies within the DOI are required within the next month to create, or revise, policies that will expand e-bike access and allow more recreational activity and enjoyment throughout their lands. 

To learn more about this policy and other frequently asked questions, please visit People for Bikes website.